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Three YouTube Targeting Strategies To Drive Conversions

 In Social Media, YouTube

As more and more advertisers develop video assets to round out their digital strategy, YouTube has become a major player within the Google Ads suite of services. With over 2 billion users, YouTube has unparalleled reach within the digital space and offers a cost-effective solution to promote great video content. YouTube video ads can show in pre-roll or discovery formats, drive viewers back to advertiser websites, and also promote engagement across a brand’s channel.


With campaign and ad formats to fit nearly every marketing objective, it shouldn’t be any surprise that YouTube comes equipped with an overwhelming amount of targeting options to complement just about any campaign strategy. For advertisers that want to drive conversions, however, the sheer volume of targeting available can be a double-edged sword, as it becomes difficult to distinguish what has the best potential for direct response vs. what may be better-suited for a branding initiative. To that end, we’ve rounded up three proven YouTube targeting strategies that work great for performance marketing.

1. Channel Targeting

One effective way to align your video campaigns with the proper audience is to target those who already subscribe to a YouTube channel that’s tangentially related to your business. For instance, a company that sells pet food may choose to target subscribers to dog and/or cat-themed channels. Furthermore, brands can choose to target their videos to subscribers of competitor channels as a way to position themselves as the better option and keep top of mind. With so many different channels available, it’s possible to fine a fit for nearly every audience profile.

Channel Targeting

2. Custom Intent Targeting

Custom intent audiences allow advertisers on YouTube to target viewers based on their past Google searches. This is a keyword-based targeting method that will match prior search intent with relevant video content when a potential prospect is browsing YouTube. The best strategy for custom intent targeting is to take ~50 – 100 of your top converting search keywords and repurpose them into a custom intent audience. For best results, pair your custom intent strategy with a YouTube ad unit that drives viewers back to an advertiser’s website to capitalize on that purchase intent.

3. Retargeting

Retargeting on YouTube, while not necessarily a groundbreaking feature, does offer some audience options outside of the realm of the traditional past website visitor list. Linking a Google Ads account to a brand’s YouTube channel, provides additional retargeting options based on that channel’s viewership history. This allows brands to not only grow their retargeting pool by targeting video viewers who may not have been to their website and visa versa, but also provides more granular options to tailor audiences based on what videos they viewed and how they interacted with them and the YouTube channel as a whole. This can be particularly helpful for advertisers offering a variety of products and/or services, where interest in one wouldn’t necessarily indicate interest (or need) for the other.

Bottom line – online video ad formats will be here for the long haul and for advertisers who can leverage YouTube to increase their acquisition strategy will be solidly ahead of the game.

Need help with Google Ads for your business? Call OpenMoves for a consultation and to learn how we can help you!

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